Sunday, March 13, 2016

Truss Rods

Truss rods from fishing line with Grandt turn buckles on a reefer.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Truss Rods

Truss rods on Chivers box car with Grandt turn buckles.

Box Car Progress

Brake hoses used on the Marsh Creek box car. I got them from my local Walthers dealer.

Box Car Progress

Here's a picture of the brake hose. It is rubber so it won't cause derailments or interfere with the coupler.

Box Car Progress

All under body details are now complete. Just have to add the brake staff and wheel and the painting can start. Brake hoses have been added though they might not be visible because they are black.

Box Car Progress

Box car with stirrups and an additional grab iron at the non ladder end. It seemed strange to have a stirrup at the end with no grab iron. How is a brakeman to use a stirrup without a grab iron? The needle beams were also moved closed to the center because the truss rods would interfere with the truck swing. This kit was designed for use with Marsh Creek 3D printed trucks which are likely shorter than the ones I am using. The added bonus is that it justifies the split brake cylinder and reservoir configuration because the combined cylinder and reservoir are now too long to fit between the beams.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Box Car Progress

As a reference for brake cylinder and reservoir locations I used the photo on page 94 of Linwood Moody's book The Maine Two Footers. This photo shows the aftermath of the wreck of engine No. 24 on the Madrid Village bridge and a bottom view of 2 pulpwood cars along with brake details. Because I am building this model only for viewing with the car on the track I won't include all brake details.

New Box Car

Details added such as grab irons, brake cylinders, queen posts and nut-bolt-washers castings. Because I model Maine 2 foot narrow gauge I supplemented the kits details with brake details and queen posts to match those prototypes.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Box Car Progress

Box car with roof, load and roof walk supports added.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

New Box Car

A shot of details included in the kit and the drawing from the instructions. The preformed grab irons are nice. I don't like bending my own.  

New Box Car Progress

Doors and door tracks added. Roof will be glued on after the cargo is added. The roof was sprayed with cheap primer to hide the wood grain and simulate the smooth surface of a metal roof.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Marsh Creek Link

Here is the URL for Marsh Creek Miniatures, who produces the box car kit I am building. This is their 20 foot box car kit.

The kit comes less trucks, couplers and decals.I used the Microtrains 1023 couplers.

The trucks are Model Railroad General Store Gilpin HOn30 trucks with NWSL wheels. They are smaller than the Grandt HOn30 trucks, but longer than the N scale Microtrains arch bar trucks.

Monday, February 15, 2016

One More Photo

Top View showing the interior. The floor was stained with a wash of Van Dyke brown acrylic paintm

Another Photo

Side shot. The smudges are rubber cement that will be removed after painting to simulate peeling paint.

More box car pics

A shot showing the frame with trucks and couplers mounted.

New Marsh Creek Miniatures Box Car Kit

I recently bought a Marsh Miniatures box car kit. It is nicely done. It fits together nicely. Shown here are the sides, ends and floor installed over the frame. The floor has been stained with a wash. The sides, ends and roof walk have been weathered with Weather-It. More pictures later.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

I spent last weekend enjoying the Huckleberry Railfan Weekend and working with the Great Lakes HOn30 Module Group displaying their layout.

It was a blast! I came after set up and the layout seemed to run well. Tom brought the new Minitrains Fiddletown and Copperopolis 0-4-0 locomotive and it ran reliably and beautifully. The appearance of outside frame and the motion of the counterweights give it a definite narrow gauge appearance. The only downside seemed to be the position of the weight inside the tender which caused it to lean backward.

I took my Linekin Bay module along and ran it as a free-standing layout. After a quick cleaning I was glad to see that trains were running pretty well on it. I ran an MDC/Athearn/Roundhouse 2-6-0 steam conversion on it for 3 hours, then ran the Frary-Hayden FM Morse diesel conversion (FS&K No 26) for several hours. The next day the motive power was again No 26, a re-geared AHM Plymouth diesel in original paint and the new rail bus. All ran well, but the track behind the wharf station needs some work.

Public attendance seemed good and the Huckleberry Railroad hosts a nice event.

One of the highlights was watching Jim run his live steam SRRL No 6 Forney locomotive pulling a Moxie train and SRRL No 19 Prairie locomotive pulling a mixed train.

I'll post pictures in the next few days.

Monday, May 20, 2013

It's been too long

It's been way too long since I've updated this blog so here it is.

My latest purchases are 2 newly released kits from Railway Recollections: the steam launch kit and 24 foot passenger combine with the monitor roof. I have no pictures yet, but you can see them here if you have a facebook account and "friend" Barry McClelland:

Barry has released several incarnations of the 24 foot box car: combine, coach, excursion and baggage cars. There is also a 24 foot caboose with baggage style side doors.

The steam launch is similar to the one once offered by Sheepscot Scale Models but now out of production. Frenchman River ( also has one still available.

There is a distant picture of the completed Sheepscot kit in my post from April 2008:

Barry's kit is more like the Sheepscot kit as the cockpit is curved. The Frenchman kit has a square cockpit. Barry's is a little longer than the Sheepscot kit.

If you can only buy one steam launch kit in HO scale, I recommend Barry's kit as it looks more "classic" and the hull lines are more graceful. The Frenchman River kit has a more utilitarian look. There may be room for both on many layouts.

Check out Mount Blue's expanded offerings in HOn30. He now has a conversion kit for a diesel and SRRL cabooses. These bring the total HOn30 rolling stock kits offered to 19! 6 of them are WW&F kits.

Other projects on the workbench:

Railway Recollections Sandy River Box car A. (Yes, I know it was on the workbench back in 2008)
Aru Models Porter 0-4-0 kit No. 72
Mt Blue SRRL Boxcar No.s 87-99
scratch-built China Station
China module scenery

Here's an old picture of some of my locomotives.
From left to right are the AHM Baldwin saddle tank shell on a Fleischmann 0-4-0 mechanism, an MDC/Athearn 2-6-0 with a laser cut wood cab (Small Scale Logistics out of production) and the ubiquitous Frary & Hayden Trix FM switcher conversion with the AHM Plymouth cab.

Friday, November 18, 2011

RS Laser Kits Re-Releases Steven's Creek Kits

In case you had not heard, RS Laser Kits ( is re-releasing the Steven's Creek HO scale Maine narrow gauge building and rolling stock kits. These are very nice, prototypically accurate laser-cut kits. The potato house and Randolph depot are already listed for sale on the HO structures page.

Here's also a sneak peak at an HOn30 passenger car kit in development:

If you're interested in this kit drop them an email ( to let them know.

Train Troll has released an HO scale WW&F crossing sign kit. This is not yet posted on their website, but it is available if you email them. I will post pictures in the next few days.

Al sent me this link to pictures of his HOn30 layout, the Dixie Creek Central:

Enjoy the scenery and HOn30 rolling stock.

More pictures to come of HOn30 and Maine 2 Foot Live Steam at the Huckleberry Railroad Days.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Steve Skodzinsky's Monson Village Module

Steve Skodzinsky has graciously allowed me to post pictures he took of his Monson Village module currently being built.

Here are some of Steve's remarks about it:

"The module is 16 inches wide by 96" long. When I was in the planning stages I soon realized that if I was going to use #6 switches, it pretty much follows that the module will be about 8 feet long to accommodate everything. If you used #4 switches you could probably shorten it to 72 to 80 inches or so. In any case, using #6 switches has allowed for very smooth trouble free operation and nice shallow approaches. They can handle just about anything you might ever want to run on a 2 foot empire. "

"I opted for code 55 rail and I purchased #6 switches from LITco. On the advice of Gary Kohler, all but one of the switches are conventional. The switch that leads into the engine house is the one that is the stub. As I have found, it is more work to setup the stub switch. It demands accuracy in placement more than anything. All of the switches are controlled with Blue-Point machines, these have turned out to be very reliable and work great. All of my track is hand laid, I used PC ties about every 6 inches or so to establish gauge and sugarpine and birch-plywood wood ties were used in between. I brush painted all of the ties with Tamiya XF-57 buff paint to approximate the color of the cedar ties that the 2 footers used."

Steve has done a nice weathering job onthe Stevens Creek wood shed.

This will turn out to be a nice module and a good portrayal of the Monson Railroad's station and facilities in Monson, Maine in the early 2oth century. I look forward to seeing the progress and will post pictures here.